This could prove to be one of the biggest results this season in college football.
No. 2 Clemson fell on the road on Friday night, as the Tigers were upset at Syracuse by a 27-24 score.
Clemson had the ball late with a chance to tie or take the lead, and a questionable decision will come back to haunt Dabo Swinney. On the opposing side of the field with over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, Clemson ran an option-fake with their punter, who threw an incompletion on fourth down.
Swinney was not thrilled with the result.
Injuries played a key role in the Clemson loss, as a hobbling Kelly Bryant was ineffective at times at quarterback due to an ankle injury. Bryant was eventually knocked out of the game completely after suffering what appears to be a concussion in the second quarter.
The other injury that had a big impact on Clemson wasn’t one that happened in that game. Starting kicker Greg Huegel was injured several weeks ago in practice, and his presence was sorely missed on Friday night against Syracuse. Alex Spence kicked in Huegel’s place, and he badly missed two field goals from 35 and 38 yards. Even the field goal that Spence made from 30 yards in the third quarter looked awful, as he was clearly pulling the ball on all of his kicks.
Clemson falls to 6-1 over all and 4-1 in the ACC for the season. They have a week off before they play Georgia Tech at home.
With the Clemson loss, N.C. State is now in the driver’s seat in the ACC Atlantic division.